How to Write 5000 Words a Day: 3 Irrefutable Rules

The Apple Friendly Writing Desk with Thunderbolt Mac

I am not doing NaNoWriMo, the brilliant writing challenge of November in which thousands partake. I should be though. But this November, I am writing 5000 words a day into my own non-fiction ‘novel’.

I am writing my next book and digital product, How to Crack the Code to Get Promoted (at your corporate job) and apparently, I have a lot to say on this topic. Lucky you, if you want the little-known secrets that no employer tells you but badly wishes you knew so you stop making the obvious mistakes and start closing the gap between what you need to do and what you think you need to do to get that darn promotion and move up the ladder already, but I digress.

This blog post is about writing. It is about writing with the kind of consistency that makes the prolific Stephen King go “Hey! Not bad at all!” although I am sure Mr. King would be far more eloquent but you know what I mean.

This blog post is about ditching your own excuses, getting out of your own way, and start writing. Write your overdue novel, your project plan, your 2013 goals in excruciating detail, your first book or fourth, your blog posts, your magazine article submissions, your newsletter, your proposals, your research paper, your journal publication, whatever it is you need to write. Writing is the essence of all wealth and knowledge and it is the most therapeutic way to get in touch with your soul. Writing is the basis of your life’s work.

How else are you documenting your thoughts, your dreams, your plans, your gifts, if you are not writing them?

Well, I could go on about why writing is essential to your very survival as a professional in any field, but you can read On Writing or a million other books and articles on that. I want to talk about how to get in the habit of writing 5000 words a day. Even if you don’t call yourself a writer.

If you feel yourself building a wall of resistance as you read those words, welcome to the Writing Resistance Syndrome club: You Are Not Alone! You probably have at least a dozen excuses on the tip of your tongue as to why 5k words a day is ludicrous thing to attempt, even if you are convinced about the power and the benefits of writing. You have responsibilities. You have to take care of kids and dogs and cats and your house. You have a job. You have to make dinner or watch an episode of something important. You have to browse Facebook and check Twitter.

I know. And just because I don’t have kids or dogs (and boy am I dying to get a pooch but must hold off) or a job that wastes my time (not anymore, thank God), doesn’t mean I use every hour of my day productively. I admit, I don’t. I waste time as brilliantly as you, and no matter how many times I beat myself up for it, I continue to waste time. And this is why I am shocked and thrilled that I have discovered a way to write 5000 words a day nonetheless, while I still manage to waste time, and I am about to tell you how you can do the same thing.

It’s a funny irony how high you tend to rank your own productivity in a vacuum.

You may believe that you will produce books upon books and a suite of products on top when you quit your job and go solo or when your child is off to daycare or college or when your husband leaves town or when the holidays are over or when … [fill in the blanks].

You create this amazingly productive robot in your mind’s eye and when those things come to be, when you are finally sitting at the keyboard in your favorite part of the house, all quiet and happy, you will still be itching to do something else after 10 minutes or 20 at most. You will still get up and get another cup of coffee, or get a snack, or use the restroom – again – or remember that you need to call about the car or the fridge or check on a friend or go see if mail has come by yet. You will be at your most creative, thinking of everything else that you should do really quickly before you really start writing. And this is how most of that first quiet “perfect” day of writing will go for most of us.

On subsequent days, you may hate what you write and scratch it. You may start reading about ways to write more efficiently and get lost in the world wide web for a few hours, telling yourself that you are doing research and getting ready to write “seriously” and to produce “great content” very soon. And low and behold, when you have exhausted your search and are finally ready to write more, you are bound to get interrupted by something that I guarantee will seem more “urgent” than writing.

And so the days and the weeks will go by, your other distractions will weave themselves back into your life and writing will sadly take the same old dusty backseat of “someday” syndrome that it has always reserved, and you will brush it off by saying, “I’ll need to develop a great writing habit one of these days, as soon as I get such and such done and over with in my life.”

Sound familiar?
Or is that just me?

So how then do you write 5000 words a day when your mind and every fiber of your body loves to resist writing?

Here’s some stuff you don’t have to worry about as much as you may think:

You don’t need to kill all your distractions. Not by a long shot.
You don’t need to go into a cabin in the woods.
You don’t need to cut off the internet. Are you crazy?
You don’t need to have someone hide your iPhone in an undisclosed location.

But here are 3 irrefutable rules that you cannot break:

1. Do not interrupt the writing flow. You know that inner voice whence your writing originates, that sacred little place inside your mind, that faint voice that you hear when you start writing. When it’s in full motion, and when you are in the flow, do not interrupt it. Wait until it has finished its say and take a break before the next cycle begins. The more you hear this inner voice, the more you tune into it and the more you believe in it. And the more you will write. So take your breaks, indulge in your distractions, and take time off for dinner too, but do not do it when the writing voice is in its flow.

2. Do not give in to the myth of “writer’s block”. There’s no such thing. It’s a myth. It’s in your head. It doesn’t exist. So that inner voice I talked about, it can get weak, it can get tired, and it can make your writing difficult. But it’s not a block. If you don’t have anything to say on this topic, try another. If you write garbage, write anyway. If you can’t think of a single word, think harder, more creatively, less restrained, more open, because you have not exhausted your full brain power by any stretch of imagination, or take time to read – you must read a ton of books as a writer, I hope you know that one – or meditate or take a walk but please don’t go around saying “Oh I have writer’s block!” When you give this myth power, you will have destroyed your ability to write consistently.

3. Do not go to bed without writing your 5000 words. This rules gives you all the freedom in your day as long as you manage to get your 5k in! So if you want to watch your episode of …. (Sorry, I don’t even know what’s been playing in the last 10 years on American TV.) then do it, but you still have 5000 words to write. If you want to take care of everything else first then write, then so be it, or if you want to get up 2 hours earlier to write, then that’s fine too. But tell yourself that you will get in those 5k words in every single day, and don’t take no for an answer.

Since November 5th, I have written 41,700 words into Crack the Code to Get Promoted using only these irrefutable rules, plus daily Ashtanga practice and a great many walks with hubby, not to mention one too many hops over to Facebook. I started out with 3000 words a day and then bumped it up to 4k and then 5k+. How many words can you write in one day?

Writing is not easy, of course not, but who cares about easy? Easy is irrelevant. Easy is uninteresting. Easy is for losers because easy doesn’t get you far. You are a winner. Winners work. Winners crush it. Winners put their priorities to the test, winners don’t take no for an answer, winners are not fond of excuses, and winners do things their way but still win, and I bet you anything, winners write. A lot.

So start writing already, and tell me in the comments below in what crazy uncommon ways you get yourself to accomplish your writing goals?

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  • http://theboldlife.com Tess The Bold Life

    Farnoosh,
    You are amazing! Who writes 5000 words a day? I believe only people with a prolific life. Your travels, reading, yoga, juicing, film festivals, photography and your lovely family and friends that give you so much to write and talk about. You live life to the fullest and the world is richer for it. We are blessed to know you. Now excuse me while I make my green juice! xo

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dear Tess, I love that you are so into your green juice now – remember you were terrified of your juicer when we met at WDS ;)!! Thank you for stopping over and giving me the most loving compliments and encouragement anyone could ask for. You are a gem, Tess.

  • http://zenpresence.com Dan Garner

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Thanks for the inspiration. I am not a writer by any means. I write to think, to share, and to clarify my intentions. This being said, I do not do it enough. I am going to implement your “Do not go to bed without writing your 5000 words” rule.

    Thanks,

    Dan @ ZenPresence

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dan, if you do all that and you do it with your writer, you ARE a writer. I am glad one of the 3 rules hit home with you. Keep writing! And thanks so much for stopping over.

  • http://www.angel-card-readings.com Eric D. Greene

    Hi Farnoosh, is that your office? It’s beautiful! So cozy and serene… :)
    Thanks for the great article, I realized just yesterday I need to stop my own procrastinations and mental reasons to put it off and just write! In fact I wrote at the end of my personal journal entry yesterday: Write write write – don’t stop, it is time to just write. Your post here is timely for me!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Eric, hi! It’s been a while. Yes that’s my brand new Thunderbolt Monitor – I love it, it’s giant! And I am so very glad you are going to put an end to all that procrastination. How many words did you get in today? Can you believe counting this article I got in 7500 words and it’s only 4pm! I am wiped. :)

      • http://www.angel-card-readings.com Eric D. Greene

        It’s a nice monitor Farnoosh, and the whole desk setup you have looks lovely. I’m working on some new ventures as far as writing and everything I’m getting into. Super excited about it, will be updating my personal website soon too. Exciting times right now! Thanks for all you do :)

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Eric, dearest, I am excited FOR YOU! May 2013 bring you many many fabulous things.

  • http://leadershipheartcoaching.com Bill | Leadership Heart Coaching

    Hi Farnoosh,
    As someone who is writing regularly, trying to get his blog off the ground – I really appreciated this post. What I really liked was the statement of “There is no such thing as Writers Block.” What a great way to change a negative perception.

    One thing I would like to share with others who struggle with the second, or third sentence – what to write next: Ask, “So What?” It was a little trick I learned in graduate school when I was writing my thesis. Keep asking “So What” and you will keep having more to write :-)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Bill, glad you agree too – there really isn’t a block anywhere except those we create in our minds…. except of course major catastrophes that create real problems but generally, no :)!
      And I’ve never heard the “So what?” trick, even though I wrote a thesis too!! So thank you thank you for sharing. Happy writing.

  • http://www.coloryourlifepublished.com Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.

    Farnoosh,

    Yikes! You have pushed the bar and a wonderful challenge it is.
    Your advice is so practical that there’s no reason any of us can’t do it, if we really commit.

    I can’t top your daily word count dedicated to just one project, but I do agree with your take on writer’s block. There’s so much we can do to counteract this myth.

    With you as a model, who needs NaNoWriMo.
    Thanks.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      You can totally top me (although today I got in 7500 so far and plan to do more but it’s not the norm ;)) and Flora, that’s the whole point really – we CAN top our own expectations of ourselves, I want to challenge you to double your own word count toward whatever your writing project is. You are so kind, thanks for your thoughts here, Flora.

  • http://30daycomeback.com Coach Comeback

    WOW 5000 words. You are a monster, Farnoosh.

    I actually just finished reading well listening to the audio book of Stephen King’s on writing and I have to say, I love that. Definitely highly recommended.

    yes, I have had so many days like this where I think the reason I’m not writing is because of the distractions or any other excuse I can come up with, but it all starts with making that commitment to yourself. I think just saying “I will” write 5000 words is enough power to get most people going. Once you truly believe in yourself and your goal when you understand why you’re doing it, things will fall into place. You will find yourself making better excuses to make sure you get it done, then you will find to make excuses to not distractions will no longer take it’s hold on you and you will fill on purpose and on fire.

    I’m taking notes – learning from the best. =-)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Oh goodness, you are now the 5th person telling me about the audio book that Stephen King himself reads of On Writing and I am dying to hear it but alas, I can’t – I have to write so much stuff ;))!
      Yes, Coach Comeback, tomorrow just say it and see how it works out, I bet you will surprise yourself. I can’t wait to see what you produce. Thanks for the constant support from you too.

      • http://www.vintage-baseball-gloves.com Bruce Rodgers

        Make that 6 people! :-) Years ago I bought the audiobook (CD form, back in the day), and followed along with the hardcover. Loved it. It’s always great to hear an author read something themself, adding feeling and inflection, where THEY intended it to be.

        -Bruce

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Alright then, that’s going on my list. I bet he sounds incredible. Thanks for that final push, Bruce.

      • http://coachcomeback.com/manifesto Coach Comeback

        YES! I have tons of audio books – since I like to travel so much (before I discovered this magical thing called a kindle! Book lover’s dream come true) and it NEVER even compares when it is just read by a voice over and actually read by the author!

        You almost feel like you are there! This was one of those where I felt like I was watching a movie and I was sad when it was over!

        And you will ALWAYS have my support Farnoosh! A great message does no good if it doesn’t spread to the world =D

        • http://completeflake.com LaVonne Ellis

          I so agree about audiobooks read by the author. I’ve recently gotten hooked on Audible, and after listening to a couple of books read by their professional readers, I’ve decided never to buy an audiobook that isn’t read by the author. The readers are good, but they just don’t have the same impact and meaning.

          • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

            I have GOT to invest in a few audio books – never ever listened to books on audio. I love to read too much :)!

  • http://www.vidyasury.com Vidya Sury

    I’ve been a demon and done 10,000 words a day, Farnoosh. I find that when I am up early in the morning, it is when my mind and my eyes are open and the words and thoughts flow. No interruptions, no phone (who calls at 4.30 am?), no doorbells and most important, no voices.

    I entered the NaNoWriMo last year and finished the required word count in three weeks…and now I am guiltily sitting on my draft. This year I promised myself I would edit it and get it ready….and then, went and signed up for NaNoWriMo on Nov 8. Doing good so far.

    Twenty minutes, eyes closed, pen and spirally bound book at hand and getting those thoughts together usually gets me started. I am grateful for a mind brimming with ideas. Then of course, I love to hear my folks and friends tell me I can do it.

    Loved reading this post. Thank you. Love, Vidya

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Vidya, Vidya, I got 7500 words in today – I didn’t want to jinx myself by writing this post and then relaxing …. but the 7500 includes the 1500 in this post…. Oh I am impressed you did NaNoWriMo, did you enjoy it? And you’ve sat on that novel manuscript for a year? Not good – what’s it about? You can self-publish you know? :)
      Thanks for the poetic prose. You are meant to be read, Vidya. Lots of love back to you.

      • http://www.vidyasury.com Vidya Sury

        Farnoosh. :-) Last year’s draft is called “The Complete Health Guide for Women” – an easy to read conversational-style reference for women, with home-remedies for most things that one can’t even go to the doc for, because, even if one did, one would return with zero consolation and a few hundred bucks lighter. That’s not good. This draft will take longer to see its public because I have some interesting plans for it.

        For this year’s NaNoWriMo – I am writing for my friends :-) It is largely (auto)biographical. :D

        Thank you for your encouraging reply. And yes, self-publishing is definitely for me! Hugs. You are an inspiration to me.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Two books …. The first sounds brilliant, Vidya. I’d love to have a copy, and I know friends love to read your second one……. Thanks for the sweet words. And keep writing, Vidya.

  • http://www.vintage-baseball-gloves.com Bruce Rodgers

    Farnoosh,

    Very inspiring, indeed. I can apply these principles far beyond just the writing aspect of my life.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Bruce

    PS – does this blog count toward your 5000 words today? ;-)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Mr. Rodgers, I am glad you enjoyed it and no, only the words that go into my book count towards the 5000 so today at 7500 total, I could take a break as I’ve met the goal. I can’t wait to see your writing soon, Bruce.

      • http://www.vintage-baseball-gloves.com Bruce Rodgers

        Thanks, dear Farnoosh! Stay tuned….

  • http://www.impulsetowrite.blogspot.com/ Priya

    I have read every one of your posts and have found inspiration from all of them. I have never had the courage to comment though. But this is one post that I couldn’t resist saying a loud ‘thank you’ for:-) I have found that writing has been a wonderful way to process my mind’s incessant chatter. Not that I write every day. I would consider myself productive if I wrote 2000 words a week. But I have come far since last year, thanks to you. And this is a wonderful reminder
    to up the ante and write more. Thanks Farnoosh.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Priya, that’s a huge testament of support and love, I am so grateful. And you are SO welcome, I am so glad we talked last year and even at 2000 words a week, I am very very proud of you. That’s a novel a year, a good size one. Keep writing, and thanks for making my day with this update, Priya.

  • http://www.CritterWisdom.com Carmelo

    Hey Farnoosh, good stuff. I’m sure some of it depends on what you’re writing about and how much thinking is involved. And, as you get more and more proficient at writing, the speed can rise substantially.

    There are times when the writing just flows and other times when too much thinking takes over. Now, there has to be a place for thinking too, especially on certain topics. Do you have any ideas on what to do if thinking takes over to the point of slowing the writing down to a crawl? Maybe it’s just a mental thing or an excuse.

    By the way, how long a book to you think it’ll be? And do you know how you’ll publish it? Will it be a physical product or strictly digital? Sorry to change the subject! But, ya know … i’m just writing and writing without stopping …. ha! :-) (does this count towards my 5000 words?)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dear Carmelo, you are wildly humorous … no, your comment (and my blog post in my case) don’t count towards the 5000 … Write a book :)!

      You are very correct, the subject makes all the different. I remember having a hard time writing about other topics but this one flows. I guess I have a LOT to say about corporate life, don’t I? ;)!

      I am targeting an 80,000 range completed product which will be audio+transcripts+worksheets, and a book will be based on it. The book will be a portion of the audio product, and I am intending to self-publish as a print book so I can use it for my speaking and coaching engagements. Hope this helps? :) What are you working on?

      • http://www.CritterWisdom.com Carmelo

        Ahhh, I see. You’re doing a ton of writing for a digital course that will also end up being an 80,000 word physical book! That’s awesome. And yes, you do have a lot to say about the corporate working world. You know, I gave it up years ago when the company threatened to move me to move me from California to Fremont, MI. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! ;-)

        I was a Sales Manager for Gerber Baby Products Co. (came in handy for my two kids at the time.)

        Gosh, it’s going to take you quite a while to finish this project you’re on. But, you truly know your audience and it’s going to be great, I just know. As for me (since you asked!) I’m working on a smaller project probably about half as many words as yours. It’s an eBook with the working title of “Defeating the ‘Guru Addiction Syndrome’ and Seizing Control of Your Life”

        It’s specifically for struggling achiever types who are spending themselves broke on tactics and strategies (and following every guru under the sun!) before they even know where they’re going. After 7 years of meeting an untold number of people in this exact boat I think it’s time someone spoke up and provided a solution!

        I’ve been lucky enough to have several bloggers offer to take a look at it and give me a testimonial which is awesome! I’m even thinking of asking my favorite blogger too. (that is, if she’d only allow me to count this comment towards my 5000 words!)

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Carmelo, great project, I am sure it will benefit many. I do love referring to guru when it comes to Ashtanga yoga and or some other three thousand year old tradition but for self-improvement, it comes down to ourselves. Good luck and happy happy writing! :)

  • http://www.grantwritingsite.com Geoff

    Hi Farnoosh,

    I don’t think I have written 5K words in a day since college. However, I have been developing a blogging and freelance writing career this year. You have just put into words the thing I have just realized in the last few days. You have to write about five thousand words a day to succeed as any kind of writer. Very true!

    Your podcast and blog are a great inspiration to me Farnoosh. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Geoff, you do have to write a LOT to succeed as a writer, so up the ante and write every day… I am thrilled to be of inspiration and please come back anytime. Thank you for your thoughts and happy writing!

  • Kay Fudala

    Dear Farnoosh,

    What an encouraging post! You are absolutely right that it is all about channeling that writer’s voice in your mind. Not to edit what it says, but to gently coerce the words to reveal themselves.

    Alas, life is full of distractions, natural and man-made. They key to keeping distractions at bay and to find that place of flow, I have found is to have a consistent and repeatable process (and a reward too). I am not quite there yet. But 3 months after leaving my corporate career and trying to come up with a semblance of a routine for working from home and managing my multiple projects and writing, I am getting there.

    5000 words! That’s something to aspire to! For now I shall settle for a 1000.

    Namaste,
    Kay

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Kay, always happy to see you, and you know how much I love your writing – you are gifted with words, you must write. I have no doubt you are closer than you were when you were working that job, and you are only getting closer and coming further, Kay. Start with 1000 a day. Stephen King would be proud of that too – and so would I :)!

  • http://cupidselves.com Christina

    Thanks for this! I’m also doing NaNoWriMo, and have surprised myself at how well it’s going. I think I’m going to go for 5000 words daily as well. There’ve been a few days where I’ve done the very minimum to reach my goal, but I’ve always hated having to stop at that point. In fact, I’ve noticed that the first 1000 words are usually the toughest, and then it just flows.

    Although I’ve found myself getting stuck a few times, I’ve tried something new that works great for me. When I start to struggle with a particular scene, I don’t force it- I just jump ahead to the next one, which usually gives me a huge boost because it’s fun to push the plot ahead a bit. Using Scrivener has helped me a lot because I can easily make note of scenes that aren’t finished and come back to them later.

    Perhaps you’ve noticed this too, but it seems that the more I write, the more I want to write. Any resistance that appears usually shows up early, and as long as I push through, it just becomes easy and joyful at some point. I’m already thinking about how I can extend the NaNoWriMo experience indefinitely!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Christina, great to hear you are doing NaNoWriMo – I’m not doing it as you saw but Vidya and others here have…I am LOVING Scrivener too – I started it only for this project and it’s far more advanced than Evernote. And I have totally noticed what you said, which makes it ironically easier to write more than less, right? :) Keep writing, and good luck with your novel. Thanks for sharing your great thoughts here.

  • http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/ Jane

    Hey Farnoosh,

    I am writing nearly 3K words per day in the past 1 month. I am putting 1K words into my new little Kindle book/report, and the rest of the words are between blog posts for 7 of my blogs. I love writing and the more I write, the more I love it – it gets easier as well.

    Thanks for this inspiring piece. I will kick my butt to crush in at least 2K more from tomorrow!

    Jane.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      3000 words a day on a consistent basis (a month is totally a big chunk of time) is brilliant. And what’s your new Kindle report about, Jane? And 7 blogs ha? ;) Not bad…. Ditto on what you said: the more I write , the more I too love it. Thanks for dropping in to bring us so much writing love.

  • http://kevingenuity.com/ Kevin

    This is a very inspirational post.! I have started writing a lot, because I plan to start blogging about my current line of work. Lately I just come up with a topic, write what comes to my mind and do not really try to organize what I am writing. I plan to go back and organize everything in the future. Does this seem like a good strategy? Do you have any suggestions when creating a new blog post?

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Kevin, great questions. For blog posts, I think you need a few things. I’ll try to be brief. 1) Capture all ideas, never lose an idea, but don’t immediately act on them. I keep all draft ideas on Evernote. 2) Have a publishing schedule – this depends on lots of factors but generally at least once a week if not more. 3) Write blog posts in a draft – not in WordPress – in fact, it helps to be offline to write them – and write them when you feel compelled about that topic but still keep your schedule, say Tuesday a post goes out but anytime between now and Tuesday, get yourself to come up with a topic that you feel passionate about writing. I don’t know if it qualifies as strategy but some tips that might help? Hope so!

      • http://kevingenuity.com/ Kevin

        Thanks for the great tips, Farnoosh! I am going to start trying them!

  • http://hutzelmedia.biz Stephen

    Hi Farnoosh,
    I love this article! I’ve never attached a word count target to my daily writing, but am going to start doing it to see how it feels.

    I couldn’t agree more about writer’s block being a myth! All it means is that you haven’t gotten into your rhythm yet. Go do something totally unrelated to what you’re working on and come back to it. What isn’t a myth is how powerful the mind is (and what you believe ends up becoming truth), so don’t buy into writer’s block!

    I look forward to following your blog. Thanks again.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Stephen, it’s a vanity target, I know ;) but alas, it’s there. And I can vouch for your advice on doing something unrelated too – it’s amazing how it just opens up the flood gates, thanks so much for stopping over and sharing these thoughts….

  • http://thewritingbase.com Samar @ The Writing Base

    Whoa. Talk about a kick in the…erm, behind :P

    I’ve been struggling with my goal of writing 1k words a day this month and here you are writing 5k words!

    You’re truly an inspiration Farnoosh.

    That’s it. I’m not going to bed tonight without writing 3k words at least.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Samar, with a name like the Writing Base, you can’t be telling me that ;)!
      Oh I do hear you – and I can add that a lot of things may have to go if you wanna do 5000 words a day. I have chosen to put some things aside for now to make this happen, until I finish this book, and I am more than half way (55,000+ words now) so I hope that you have your beautiful mojo back because you are one beautiful writer.

  • http://completeflake.com LaVonne Ellis

    Farnoosh, you are an absolute inspiration. For the NaNoWriMo alternative called Contentpalooza (by Kelly Kingman) I am writing a book called The Complete Flake’s Guide to Getting Sh*t Done… and of course, I am having a terrible time getting it done.

    My biggest problem is that I seem to be a compulsive editor. I edit books in my other life, and it’s a hard habit to break. I keep trying to make the first draft perfect and now I’m dangerously close to stuck. The other problem is research. As I’ve been writing, I’ve realized I don’t know enough about _____ so I’ve been trying to combine research time with writing time. Doesn’t work. :(

    So, inspired by you, I am going to try your 3 irrefutable rules. But 5000 words? I’m scared to commit to that!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest LaVonne, what an honor to have you here. I think it’s a sweet irony that you are having a hard time and I hope you are past it by the time you read this… yes, I believe magic can happen when you are inspired even if it’s just been a few hours.
      Do you edit while you write? As in, you try to make it nice and pretty as you are writing? That can really make it hard to let those words flow…. I imagine for me it would. Research and organization is a big thing that slows me down too, but I still tell myself to push through and meet the 5000 words. Other things have had to go though, it’s a balancing act. Now with 66,200 words into the book, I am feeling good about it. I can’t wait to see your book, LaVonne. Let me know how you get on! Thanks for stopping over.

      • http://completeflake.com LaVonne Ellis

        Thank you, m’dear! Yes, it is indeed sweet irony that I am having a hard time writing about getting sh*t done… but that’s why I’m writing it, of course. :)

        Yes, I do edit while I write. It’s a very hard habit to break, but I’m finding that I can sidestep the Inner Editor by dictating much of the content instead of typing. I just hook myself up to my iPod voice recorder and talk to myself while I do housework. I’m getting a surprising amount of the book written that way.

        And I will definitely let you know how I get on, thanks!

  • Fayaz Pasha

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Very inspiring post indeed. I will inculcate the habit of writing at least 1k from today. I spend most of my time reading, reading and reading. When I sit to write, I get overwhelmed with so many topics that I make a note of them in word document and I don’t know how many topics I have saved in the hard disk so far.

    It will take some time to get into the habit of writing continuously and as I said earlier, you are a master and thanks for the great tips.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Fayaz, at least 1k, that’s for sure! Or else, Stephen King won’t even consider us a writer ;)!
      Don’t use Word. Use a better file management system like Evernote (FREE for both PC and Mac) you need the right tools to write, and that makes a huge difference. Test other apps if that doesn’t work but have a way to switch around between docs and see them together or side by side. All the best.

  • http://alwayswellwithin.com Sandra / Always Well Within

    Wow, 5,000 words! That’s a lot! I don’t think I have ever done that! This obviously requires keen determination, which you clear have. I’ll have to go meditate on this…

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Sandra, it’s a lot and it looks like I have to keep it up. I just signed a book deal with a publisher about a new book and a crazy deadline for the manuscript! :) Let me know what beautiful thoughts come out of meditation ….

  • Laura

    Here I am trolling your blog now – me the wanting the pixie style but lacking a skilled stylist in NC – I used to write everyday. I don’t remember the last time I did it. I used to write short stories poems journals you name it. -now- nothing. And I am not myself. Thank you again for much needed inspiration and a hope to continue on even if its garbage. Words to live by!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Laura, working backwards on your comments :) And on writing, all I can say is Just get back into it, period. Don’t worry about the time lost and don’t call any of your writing “garbage” or anything like that ever. Just keep writing and don’t judge it …. Sending you much writing mojo! :)

  • Marja-Leena

    Ahhh! What a brilliant article! I’m a writer (although not published except a couple of newspaper articles) and I am trying desperately to force myself to write every day. I just recently told a friend that I am convinced that I’ve had writer’s block for the past 20 years, so since I was a fetus and living in the womb, basically. But I loved what you said about writer’s block only existing in our heads. I feel like that just instantly banished writer’s block from my mind for good. I’ve recently been struggling with depression and I’m now finding myself comparing that to the concept of writer’s block. Like a little internal demon that is trying to convince me of things that aren’t true. Anyways, I am super rambling now but I actually cried when I read the 3 rules (I’m having an emotional day) because I felt so inspired and motivated and just ahhh I can’t put it into words. I feel like those rules are directed at me somehow. Anyways. THANK YOU!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Marja, I am so glad you shared all your beautiful emotions and you are a fabulous writer … so go back to this wonderful feeling and these new truths that you have discovered now about you and your writing and get back to it because this is the way we have to honor our gifts ….. invest in it and best of luck. Come back here anytime to share progress! :)

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  • Rhodri Morgan

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Unlike the majority of these wizards of academia, I regret to say that I am not a writer. I am however writing as we speak, a 5000 word thesis on the debate between religion and science manifested in the poems of Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson. I regret to say that I am not what you would call a good student. I get good grades but the majority of the time I spend the day and night (and early morning until the deadline) doing the entire thing. This time I thought I would get a headstart but my enthusiasm has been unrewarded due to the sheer weight of critical material to decipher. My deadline is on Wednesday afternoon and currently I have far too many pages of notes as well as a mess of a word document comprising 6000 words of some essay, quotations and points that it is proving almost impossible to mold. I’m reluctant to start typing from scratch as I feel my work would be wasted but I also am finding it hard to intricately argue a very complicated comparison of two poems. Any suggestions on how to just sit down and smash it? (I have deleted my facebook but still am drawn in by the tv). Many thanks!

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      I am not trying to be clever when I say that you JUST Sit Down and Smash It, period. You don’t follow every thought about distraction and food and something else. You Just Do It. And there is nothing that says you can’t except when you believe you can’t. You are not a bad student, you just think you are. You are not a non-writer, you just think you are …. so stop believing it and just do the work. I hope this helps. It comes with compassion and love. @rhodrimorgan:disqus

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